Sania Mirza's mother Nasima reveals how she waited in the balcony of their Hyderabad home and got updates about the score from younger daughter Anam, as the nerve-wracking final stage of the Wimbledon doubles final was getting ‘too intense’
Even as Sania Mirza jumped with joy on Centre Court alongwith her Swiss partner Martina Hingis after winning her maiden Wimbledon women’s doubles title in London on Saturday, back home in Hyderabad, her nervous mother Nasima, missed the moment. Mirza-Hingis beat Russians Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova 5-7, 7-6 (7/4), 7-5.
winning women: India’s Sania Mirza (right) and Switzerland’s Martina Hingis with their Wimbledon ladies doubles winners’ trophies in London on Saturday July. Pics/AFP
A nervous-wreck, by her own admission, as the two-and-a-half-hour see-saw final battle played out on her TV screen at their Jubilee Hills home in Hyderabad, Naseema told mid-day that she just couldn’t watch the tense encounter. “I watched till 5-5 in the second set and from then, I couldn’t. It was getting too intense for me. Elena was playing out of her skin and I was getting nervous. So I walked out of the room, went into the balcony, sat on our jhoola (swing) and began praying for Sania. My younger daughter, Anam kept coming out and telling me the score thereafter with each passing game,” Nasima said from Hyderabad yesterday.
Smiles unlimited: The Indo-Swiss pair of Mirza and Martina Hingis beat Russians Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova 5-7, 7-6, 7-5. Pic/AFP
She followed every game through the eyes of Anam (21), while her elder daughter’s brilliant winners saw the top seeds rally to beat the No 2 Russians.
“Anam, kept running up and down, telling me the score and it was turning out to be in Sania’s favour, so I decided to stay put on the jhoola for the remainder of the match,” added Naseema, who however predicted the end as soon as the tournament organisers decided to close the roof at Centre Court due to bad light.
Mirza-Hingis celebrate a break of serve against Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova in Saturday’s ladies doubles final at Wimbledon
“It was 5-5 again in the third set and Anam told me that there was going to be a break as the roof was being closed. That’s when I knew this one is in the bag. I was confident Sania would win because she plays very well indoors. Her game just lifts up in indoor arenas, she revels in the noise and the overall atmosphere. Right enough, Sania-Martina won both the next games and with it, the Championship.”
Sania's mother Naseema Mirza
Naseema got nostalgic as her daughter conquered the field on the hallowed turf of Wimbledon. “I remember how it all began at the age of six. As Sania grew, I began traveling across the country with her, carrying her kit bag, staying away from home for so many days. In fact, Mumbai was one of the most important tennis nurseries for Sania. We stayed at my friend Meela Parikh’s home on Marine Drive.
Those Mumbai days...
“I remember Sania won some national-level tournaments in Mumbai — Pravin Bhargav was coaching then and he had his academy. Bandra Gymkhana was also one venue where Sania won. Meela’s daughter Anuja played with Sania and we mothers had a little group of our own.
Meela had these guest houses in Ahmedabad, Madras and we all stayed there. Those were fun times for us moms and equally intense for our girls who sweated it out. Wimbledon is the tournament every tennis player dreams of playing. It’s called the Mecca of tennis, and to go out there and win it is like the icing on the cake after all the hardwork Sania has put in over years.”
So, what words did mother and daughter exchange after the win? “When Sania called me, her first words were ‘Alhamdulillah (which means ‘thanks be to God’ in Arabic). I’ve done it maa.’ I told her how nervous she had made all of us here and asked her why she was kind-of hiding during the initial stages of the final. And Sania admitted that she was a bit nervous to start with but then, as the match progressed she and Martina opened up. This is a brilliant partnership and I hope it stays that way,” Naseema signed off.
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